SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Making his first start since capturing the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan on June 11 at Belmont Park, Juddmonte Farms' multiple stakes winner Flintshire did not disappoint, rallying late to win the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
Leaving the gate from post position 2 as the overwhelming 1-9 favorite with Javier Castellano aboard, the 6-year-old Chad Brown trainee broke alertly and moved to third position tucked along the rail as Grand Tito and Can'thelpbelieving set tepid fractions of 26.53 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with a half-mile going in 53.14.
Remaining on the lead, Grand Tito completed three-quarters of a mile in 1:19.44 as the field of four turned for home with Flintshire now at the back of the pack. When Twilight Eclipse made his move towards the leader, Flintshire was behind a three-wide wall of horses, but a patient Castellano tipped him out and once set down for the drive, Flintshire swept into the lead in deep stretch to secure the victory by 1 ¾-legnths.
He completed the 1 3/8-mile distance in 2:18.24.
"I've been watching all the races in his career and I've seen him win in Japan and Hong Kong. The horse, he likes to cover up," said Castellano. "As long as he covers up, he gives you that power and kick. I was a little concerned with not that many horses in the race.
"[Once] he got out he [gave me] a tremendous, powerful kick. He is a great horse. You don't see too many horses like that. He's the best horse on the turf in the world."
Returning $2.20 for a $2 win wager, the victory gave Flintshire his second win in as many starts at the Spa, having captured last year's Grade 1 Sword Dancer, and boosted Flintshire's earnings to $8,274,910.
"He likes to run and cover and Javier has a really good feel for him, so I wasn't too worried," said Brown. "When Twilight Eclipse finally made the move and they all went, it was a pretty easy decision to steer him outside for home.
"Javier showed a lot of poise. He didn't panic," added Brown. "The horse ran terrific. He's a true champion. They're a great team." Following Grand Tito in second were Twilight Eclipse and Can'thelpbelieving.